Hawking, along with another scientist, I think it was Penrose, came up with the application of Quantum Mechanics to Black Holes. Among other things, this led to the realisation that matter that goes into Black Holes is not lost forever, because Black Holes give off radiation and can be considered to have a non-zero temperature. The temperature is inversely proportional to their size. Over a very long time (billions of times the length of the universe so far) they will evaporate, eventually disappearing in a flash that would be blinding if there were anyone left to see it.
Mar 29 02, 11:20 PM
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